Tracking Local Holiday Sales Numbers

Dec 27, 2012

The holiday season ends this month. But holiday shopping might continue through January.

So far, national retailers have reported disappointing holiday sales. They hoped for 4% growth, but reported 1%, according to MasterCard’s Spending Pulse unit. Georgia Retail Association spokesman John Fleming says calculating December sales may take a while.

Georgia Retail Association Communications Director John Fleming
Credit Georgia Retail Association

“One of the things that’s happened in recent years is that as gift cards have increased in popularity we’ve found that the holiday sales extend into January,” he said.

If you bought a gift card for your friend between Black Friday and now, Fleming says the retailer wouldn’t count the card as a sale until your friend uses the gift card.

“So, the effect is that it’ll push back the reporting of that sale when the person who received the gift card actually goes in and gets the merchandise,” he said.

That means retailers might not know the true impact of holiday sales until mid-January. At the same time, Fleming says retailers also don’t know if fiscal cliff negotiations will harm their bottom line.

Stores in Georgia and other Southern states should fare better than their Northeast counterparts. Super storm Sandy hit Northeast retailers hard.